Genetics (with Baby Chicks) - Museum of Science and Industry

Genetics is a so-so room with one great feature: the baby chicks. There are eggs on one side of the hatchery, potentially along with very recently hatched chicks. It’s often fun to stop by early in the day to see how close chicks are to being hatched. This process takes a long time, but if you see an egg that’s started to crack, it is fun to check back later in the day and see if the chick has made it out. Just a heads up—chicks on this side are exhausted, and look nearly dead; little kids may be disturbed by seeing what appear to be baby animals in distress.

On the other side of the hatchery are very active little chicks. Although they’ll often congregate towards the middle of the glassed area, they’ll sometimes check out the people watching them. The height of both sides is a little awkward for youngest kids (2-3 years old); you may need to give them a boost to see the chicks well.

The rest of Genetics is fine, with videos and text discussing how genes work and similar topics. Children in the middle of elementary school may start understanding this material, but I think there’s a narrow range of ages where that material both makes sense and is interesting. I do enjoy checking out the cloned mice and watching them play (there are sections that show the mouse the egg came from, the mouse that carried the baby, and the cloned baby; I assume that these are not actually cloned, but I could be wrong.